The Roasted Chestnuts were the first example of “Street food” in Sicily and other Italian regions.

Winter, especially during Christmas, reminds me of  “ le caldarroste”. You can smell the roasted chestnuts on the Italian streets. And if you go to Palermo, roasted chestnut vendors sell them in “cuoppu” wraps of paper in the shape of a cone.

The roasted chestnut vendors are one of a kind in Palermo. They are surrounded by smoke coming out of a metal cylinder with embers at the bottom and chestnuts on top, sprinkled with salt, which creates a white powder in contact with the embers, resembling powdered sugar.

It’s very difficult to resist the temptation of roasted chestnuts; although people know that they will burn their tongues and their hands will get dirty with the white powder, they just can’t resist. If you are in Palermo during this period and want roasted chestnuts, you can’t miss them; just follow the smell and the white smoke.

Roasted Chestnuts – Le Caldarroste

I keep these memories near and dear to my heart.

Since there aren’t roasted chestnut vendors on the streets here in Philadelphia, I compensate by buying chestnuts in the supermarket, cutting them, sprinkling them with salt, and baking them at 450 F for 30-40 minutes. Although they can’t compare to those of the Palermo, they are still pretty good.

Roasted Chestnuts – Le Caldarroste

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